‘Jeopardy!’ Shock as Matt Amodio Loses in Tournament of Champions

Matt Amodio
Jeopardy, Inc!

Jeopardy! fans were left stunned on Thursday, November 10, as super-champ Matt Amodio was knocked out of the Tournament of Champions, ending the hopes of seeing him take on Amy Schneider in next week’s finals.

The PhD student from New Haven, Connecticut, who won 38 consecutive games in 2021, found himself against tough competition in Professors’ Tournament winner Sam Buttrey and software team lead John Focht. All three contestants were closely tied heading into Final Jeopardy! and all three correctly solved the final clue. However, Amodio chose to wager $0, which left him in last place.

In the end, it was Buttrey, an associate professor of operations research, who walked away with the victory after wagering $10,601. This gave Buttrey a winning total of $33,601, compared to Focht’s $24,000 and Amodio’s $16,800.

“He’s defeated a super champion today; he’s gonna have to do it in the finals,” said host Ken Jennings, alluding to the fact that Buttrey will take on super-champ Schneider in the final. And it’s possible the professor could be up against two super-champs, depending on how Mattea Roach does in tonight’s (Friday, November 11) last semi-final game.

As for Amodio, he took his loss in good spirits. “That was an amazing game of #Jeopardy, I’m proud to have been part of it!” he tweeted after the episode. “What an honor to share the stage with two brilliant human beings. Thank you, @tkfocht @sam_buttrey.”

He also praised Buttrey for his performance, writing, “Congratulations, @sam_buttrey, on a well deserved victory! I enjoyed getting to spend time with you off the stage, and am content losing to a phenomenal #Jeopardy player who also happens to be a fun, wonderful person!”

Buttrey shared similar sentiments, tweeting, “What a blast to play Jeopardy! with @AmodioMatt and @tkfocht today! They’re two smart, funny, genuine people and it was an honor to be up on stage with them.”

Despite the shock of Amodio’s loss, fans were massively impressed by the highly competitive game. “What a game! No one played poorly, no one walks away embarrassed. Just three great players in a fight throughout the whole thing,” wrote a commenter on the Jeopardy! Reddit forum.

“Wow. Now THAT was a game. All three great competitors but can’t wait to see Sam in the final as well,” said one viewer, while another added, “This may have been my favorite episode of Jeopardy ever. Just amazing and nerve-racking. Three very likable, deep, all around impressive contestants with so much strength overlap. A sublime matchup.”

“I really underestimated how well Sam and John would have done in this tournament. Sad to see Matt go, but I am also rooting for Sam. He seems like an awesome man, and is hilarious as well,” added another user.

“Damn this is a bittersweet feeling. I wanted Matt in the final so so badly, but you can tell Sam is such a fun and wonderful human and also an excellent player and he seriously deserves this,” wrote one viewer.

“I think Sam might literally be unbeatable, he definitely would’ve been an ultrachampion if he was on regular Jeopardy instead of the Professor’s Tournament,” shared one fan.

Jeopardy!, Tournament of Champions, Weeknights, Check your local listings